Forums Current Conditions Montana SW Montana Conditions 2011/2012
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  • #644720
    samh
    726 Posts

    Awesome to hear!

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    samh.net

    #644721
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @nickstayner wrote:

    That sounds really nice! How was stability overall? Dig any pits? Depth hoar? I’ve been hankering to get into the T Roots some time soon.
    Get any photos?

    We didn’t dig any pits since we already decided to avoid steep lines (due to the obvious windloading and by the way the new snow was sliding off of the old surface on skin track switchbacks. There were also 3 wives to keep happy). Under those circumstances, and racing against the sun, we felt digging a pit would be a waste of time. An entry in the log book said that conditions were “generally stable, ECT12 Q2”. They didn’t mention anything about the slope angle or aspect. The yurt operator said that the snowpack there is more like the Hyalites and less like the Bridgers but that there is an old ice crust about 4′ down. He didn’t really say anything about whether or not depth hoar has been an issue.

    The main thing is that the new snow had NOT yet bonded at all to the old. There were new sloughs (big ones) seen all throughout the day Saturday and one crown further south in Thompson Basin. That old snow surface was rock solid based on my attempts to shove a pole through it (never was able to, anywhere, all day). It would have been crappy dust on crust skiing if less snow had fell during the storm.

    Photos? I wish. Wifey carried the camera and lets just say her idea of an interesting photo is different than mine. Then again, I hate fussing with cameras and often tend to not take photos at all.

    #644722
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Skied in the A/B near Emigrant on Saturday. Things were locked up below some new/windblown new snow. We didn’t dig, but it was a good sign indicating that things have gone through at least enough of a melt/freeze to allow safe timely ascent and descent. Timing is everything this time of year.

    #644723
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @nickstayner wrote:

    Timing is everything this time of year.

    Indeed. We made an attempt at the southeast coulour of Emigrant Peak on Saturday. The school bus-sized cornice, rock fall, and quickly deteriorating snow conditions turned us around at an elevation about midway up the coulour. We skied/rode the shoulder to the north of the couly, traversed into the bottom 1/4 of couly, and had a really fun ride for quite a distance. But then the snow got so grabby that it wasn’t much fun at all. ALL north facing terrain was covered with pinwheel debris as was the gut of the coulour. South facing stuff hadn’t pinwheeled naturally but we were getting big balls to form when we would travers that aspect.

    Finished up the day helping administer first-aid after one of the tele-skiers got a bit greedy near the snow line resulting in a cartwheel through Big Sky-esque sharp and pointy rocks. Control bleeding, monitor for shock, split up his load for the hike back to car. 3 stitches in a forearm puncture wound and assorted scrapes treated back in town. It would have been bad if he wasn’t wearing a helmet – which has me rethinking my practice of usually leaving mine behind on BC days.

    It was beautiful though. I’ll try to remember to post a pic or two later on when I get off of work.

    #644724
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Yikes! What time of day were you guys up there? Also would love to see pics!

    Also, rode in the East Rosebud region of the Beartooths (posted a TR with specific conditions in it). Where I rode had fully metamorphosed into a true spring/summer snowpack, but that range is so huge and diverse that it’s hard to extrapolate what that means from there.

    Anyone been into the Missions recently?

    #644725
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @nickstayner wrote:

    What time of day were you guys up there?

    We left the truck at 7:45 (did you guys have the same rock slide blocking the road when you were there?) and got back at 2:30. Here’s a couple pics, sorry if the panaramic format screws up the page layout.

    Great view from our turnaround point

    Nice shot of a skier

    If you squint real hard you can see me descending and 3 guys waiting at the bottom. Also notice the pinwheeling along the north face of the opposite ridge.

    Another cool pano

    Here’s the chute that we chickened out of. It will be there next time.

    #644726
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Nice pics! No rockslide blocking the road when we were there… whereabouts on the road is it?
    That line sees a TON of sun. It probably hadn’t frozen the night before either, do you think?
    IMO, when temps are forecasted to get hot, 9AM is probably about the time you want to be descending that thing. I had a similar experience to you guys last year in the SE Couloir last year, except we were too stupid to turn around.
    First turn off the summit into the top of the couloir triggered a huge creeper wet slide that entrained a TON of snow and washed out the entire couloir.
    That pinwheeling is funny, far from what we saw two weekends ago. Our tracks are totally gone though, so must’ve seen some new snow last week.

    #644727
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    Yeah, I hinted that we should leave Bozy ridiculously early but it wasn’t my trip to plan and the the others got some bad weather info (expected it to be colder). I’ve never been there before so I was just stoked to sight-see. I agree, 9am descent would have been best but we didn’t think that the chute (or anything else) had froze at night anyway. The rock slide was about a mile (?) up from the big culvert where you cross the creek, I wasn’t really paying attention though. We could tell that the slide was recent based on (probably your) old tire tracks in the snow on the other side of it. We had to park at a point where someone had been camping with a campfire on the north side of the road – if that’s any landmark at all.

    #644728
    digerati
    82 Posts

    So…. the Missions..

    I was watching the weather all week, hoping for a window. It was going to be mostly sunny Saturday and near freezing Thurs and Friday night earlier in the week. Forecast got worse as the week wore on…

    Partner and I left Missoula at 1:30 AM and left the truck headed straight uphill at 3:30 in a light rain. It was warm.. If you haven’t hiked in the Missions, its steep. Started hiking at the lake and made pretty good progress for an hour. Started to post hole and navigate downfall for about 45 minutes after that. All of this area is on the Flathead reservation, so trails are none existent and switchbacks found nowhere.

    It started to get light and we time checked our progess at 5:45. We still had about 3.5 hours of hiking and 2500 feet to get to the top of the ridge, and then had to ride the bottom of the couloir yet. The snow wasn’t solid enough to warrant skinning and we still had an hour of post-hole-tree-dodging before we would see solid snow. It was still raining, so we decided to save our resources and officially confirmed today was not the day.

    We left the trailhead for home at 8 a.m. The ridge and peaks were socked in, still raining. Went home and slept till 2pm, and woke up to a gorgeous day in Missoula…. :nononno: The weather forecast says rain till Thursday this week, then Lows in the mid 20’s and a high of mid 20’s Friday. I think we are ‘stupid’ enough to maybe give it another go. :scratch: :thumpsup: Overall, snowline has receded heavily at low elevations in the Missions. I believe the snowpack up high is still solid and plentiful, but its either been raining or sunny and super hot the last 2 months so it is full of moisture and disappearing quickly.

    I usually bring out the last part as a verbal reminder when hiking in the Missions 😆 ~
    From Summitpost: The difference lies easily between innocent and simple-looking lines on a map (in this land of amazing mountains), an area where during the summer no human may go (there will be neither grisly human nor human/grizzly interaction), and trails are steep and without switchbacks (animals don’t zigzag up mountains)—and are, anyway, only sometimes cleared of deadfall and rubble (this is not managed wilderness travel: you are on your own)—if you choose this wild and uncivilized place (of very few posted signs) it is because you want to.

    #644729
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Brett, thanks for that! Super enjoyable read. Rain can be pretty demoralizing. I have heard that approach is absolutely heinous, though I still want to give that thing a try this year. I agree with what you said about it being something to attempt earlier in the season- I have heard from a person who skied it in June a few years back that it was severely runneled.
    splitlips- That’s crazy about the rockslide. I don’t drive a rig that can make it much beyond the south side of the creek anyway though, so I usually just park at the pullout by the bridge and hoof it. Kind of a paradise for the 4wheeler back in that area though… could probably still drive to snowline with the right rig (and no rockslide I guess!).
    Same thing happened to us when we were there temps wise (forecasted cold and cloudy temps, turned out to be sunny and HOT).

    #644730
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Made it over to Cooke for Saturday. Found that the 4-6″ new snow had insulated a nice 6-8″ isothermic layer and kept it from refreezing. Wasn’t moving, just made for some exciting riding conditions. Below that was uniform spring melt/freeze.
    Anyone hit up the Bridgers with their epic storm?

    #644731
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    Not me but my coworker was up there on Sunday. He said it was waist deep and heavy at the top of the Bridger Lift but good skinning and skiing. He saw “tons of HUGE avalanches”, which included watching a skier trigger a monster dry slab from the top of Saddle. Also saw lots of fresh debris in North Bowl and Avy Gully. He was amazed at the number of people skiing the Ridge and other steep terrain. When he left, he saw the Sheriff interviewing some guy and overheard him say “I’m pretty sure no one was below me when I triggered it…”. 40 to 50 cars in the lot. He said it was a zoo.

    On the news last night there was a report of a skier caught in a slide north of Bridger. The report was lacking details but it sounds like the guy was able to get out of it after a 50 foot ride but a dozen or so SAR members responded – so I assume he was injured.

    I’m glad I slept late and went for a bike ride instead.

    #644732
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Wow. I am amazed at the stupidity of people around here sometimes (I don’t exclude myself from that equation either).

    #644733
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @nickstayner wrote:

    Wow. I am amazed at the stupidity of people around here sometimes (I don’t exclude myself from that equation either).

    Yeah, everybody gets careless sometimes. I blame GoPro / YouTube and a misplaced craving for validation for a lot of these things. But then again, I’m getting old, jaded, and crotchity. Probably just have a few more years until I start sitting on my porch yelling at kids to keep off my lawn.

    #644734
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    I think those things definitely play into it. I also think that a lot of the Bridger Bowl problem has to do with the ease of access and ridiculously close proximity to a university that has a reputation of being one of the greatest ski colleges (which it is).
    I know it shouldn’t amaze me any more, but I just can’t stop asking myself what the people who were skiing steep, exposed lines like Saddle yesterday expected. Active depth hoar layer that’s run numerous times this season, an absolutely enormous load with hardly any time to adjust, above freezing temps, the Bridgers red flagged by the GNFAC numerous time during the season…. Which way would you seriously expect things to go, standing on top of Saddle yesterday? How would you expect it to turn out? Just crazy…. done ranting.

    #644735
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Well I guess my inadvertent last day of the season was a couple of weeks ago… I guess it’s possible I’ll get out again but probably nothing serious. Anyone else around these parts still shredding?

    #644736
    samh
    726 Posts

    …thinkin’ about this season now I guess. ; )

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    samh.net

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